Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Beryl Marjory Floris, Artist

Beryl Marjory Floris was an artist who did a number of watercolor portraits painted on San Francisco Chinese newspapers. Some of her portraits of Chinatown residents can be viewed at Mutual Art, Alex Cooper, and eBay. The detail of the painting below shows it was made on the February 22, 1963 edition of the Chinese Times

She was born Beryl Marjory Brown on January 19, 1904, in Missoula, Montana. The birth information is from her first husband’s naturalization application. George Douglas Cooper was Canadian. 

Other sources, such as the Social Security Death Index and California Death Index (at have the birth year 1909. 

In the 1910 United States Census, Beryl (line 48) was the oldest of two children born to Edward, a bookkeeper, and Daisy. They were Seattle, Washington residents at 1826 29th Avenue. 

The 1920 census counted Beryl, her parents and brother (lines 36 to 39) in Tetherow, Oregon on Dobson Lane. 

After graduating high school, Beryl continued her education at the University of Oregon. She resided at Susan Campbell Hall. 

1925 Oregana

1926 Oregana

Beryl graduated in 1927. She was on the Oregana yearbook staff as a portrait artist. 

Beryl’s father passed away on September 13, 1927 (death certificate at 

On December 31, 1927, Beryl and George Douglas Cooper married in Redmond, Oregon. 

According to the 1930 census, the couple (lines 1 and 2) lived in Seattle at 1303 East 41st. Their marriage ended in divorce. Cooper remarried to Maxine E. Wickes on July 24, 1937.

Beryl has not yet been found in the 1940 census. 

A family tree at Family Search said Beryl remarried to John Balogh Floris on December 18, 1944 in San Francisco, California. 

The Mill Valley Record (California), September 6, 1945, covered the Hansel and Gretel opera at Forest Meadow Dominican College, San Rafael, and said 
... An attraction made possible by a Mill Valley woman is the giving away to two lucky children at the performance two hand-made dolls dressed as Hansel and Gretel. These were donated by Mrs. Beryl Floris, Mill Valley designer of character dolls.
The San Francisco ReCreation, May 3, 1947, said Beryl won Best Home Made Doll at the Doll Show. 

The 1948 San Francisco city directory listed Beryl and her husband at 1870 Sacramento Street which was almost a mile west of Chinatown. 

The 1950 census recorded Beryl (line 18), her husband, and two daughters, Mary and Dorothy, from her previous marriage, in San Francisco at 1870 Sacramento Street. Beryl was a social worker. 

In 1953 Beryl and her husband created the Daily Dolly. It’s not known how many issues were published. 

Beryl’s mother passed away on January 27, 1960 (death certificate at 

Beryl produced her Chinatown watercolor portraits in the 1960s. 

Beryl turned her attention to the early days of gold mining. Coin World, November 7, 1973, said 
…The MC also introduced artist Beryl Floris, whose paintings of historic Gold Rush and gold mining events were displayed, as an “honorary numismatist,” who had taken “the raw ore of the paint and refined it into a coin which enriched the viewers.”
The Windsor Star (Ontario, Canada), December 11, 1973, reported the numismatic show in San Francisco and said 
... The paintings have been donated by Beryl Brown Floris, whose family settled on the West Coast before the discovery of gold in 1848. Mrs. Floris’ great-grandmother once traded a vial of gold dust for jar of pickles in San Francisco. ...
Calcoin News Quarterly Magazine, Winter 1974, Volume 28, Number 1, said 
... Beryl Floris, whose paintings depicting gold mining days are on display in the Old Mint, was made an honorary numismatist and received a silver medal to make her a bona fide coin collector. ...
Beryl was mentioned in the Annual Report of the United States Mint for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1974. 
... During the fiscal year, approximately 106,000 persons toured the Old Mint Museum. The exhibits viewed by those people included: A collection of notes and coins dating back to the gold rush era loaned by the California State Numismatic Association; a collection of antique firearms used by both the lawless and the law enforcers of the Old West; an 1874 Wells Fargo stagecoach and an 1873 LaFrance fire engine used in the 1906 San Francisco fire on loan from Mr. Michael Simpson; the Big Bonanza exhibit which commemorates the discovery of the great Comstock Lode in Nevada; a collection of original paintings of the North Mother Lode country donated by the artist Beryl Floris; and, the Henry Clifford Pioneer Gold Coin Collection.
The 1974 Grass Valley, California city directory listed Beryl and her husband at 226 Tribulation Trail, Nevada City.

Beryl passed away on December 2, 1979, in Nevada City, California. She was laid to rest at Ilwaco Cemetery

In 1980 her husband published Elvamox: Memories of a Pacific Northwest Family. He passed away on October 10, 1993. 

Beryl’s daughters attended the University of California, Berkeley. Mary married Jan Stuart Stevens. Dorothy married Clark Winton Reynolds. 

(Next post on Monday: Merry Christmas)

No comments:

Post a Comment